So you have decided to rent a property, however, this may be your first time renting. With this in mind, we have created this page to help you understand the process of renting a property.
First things first, can you afford it? Aside from the upfront costs you will need to secure and rent a property, you will also need to evidence that your income can support the rental amount.
These have changed in the last few years after the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act 2019. This legislation prevented landlords and agents from charging tenants any fees to rent a property.
There are still some upfront costs that you will need to pay prior to taking up occupation of a property. These are as follows:
Monthly Rental Affordability
With regards to how much rent you can afford from an income affordability, this is usually calculated at 2.5 times the rental amount. i.e. if your annual income is £23,000, your monthly rental affordability will be £766.66 per month.
Each letting agent may have a slightly different set of criteria, but will usually follow a similar method. I would advise that when you make contact with an agent once you have identified the property you are interested.
Choosing the right neighbourhood is very important when starting your rental search. Usually people don't stray too fair from home when they start out on their own, so usually know the areas around them. However, this isn't always the case. We take a look at a few things you may want to consider:
What's the neighbourhood vibe?
One of the most important aspects when selecting an area. We recommend that you visit the areas you have identified as potential locations during the day and night. This will give you a good idea on what the area can be like throughout all times of the day.
It may not be top of your list when deciding on where to rent. However you never know when you might need to use public transport. Being located near to a bus route could help you should your car need repairing. Or being located within a short walk to work could help you to be greener and cut CO2 emissions and saving you money.
Obviously only relevant if you have kids or are considering having children soon. However, when you do join the partnering crew, this will soon become a very important aspect to your location. You'll want your child to go to the best schools available and these schools usually take their students from inside a catchment area.
So you have worked out how much your can afford to pay in rent, you have identified a few areas you would be happy to move to, now you need to decide what type and size of property you need.
You will need to make a list of the things you MUST HAVE and the things you would like.
Another thing to consider is that you select a landlord or letting agent that you can trust, you will be signing into a contract for many months, so having a good relationship with them is going to help with a smooth, stress free process. Stewarts Estates are proud members of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA PropertyMark). This means we choose to operate under strict standards of professional and ethical practice.
If you have done all of the above and are ready to start searching take a look at what we have available here.
You will need to act fast if you want to secure the property you want as they don't tend to hang around for long. So in order to help you make a swift decision, here are a few things to look out for or to ask the landlord/agent:
Great you have found a property you wish to move into. Congratulations!! So what's next....?
The next step is to pay your holding deposit and complete the referencing process. This is where some agencies may differ slightly, however the end result is usually the same. We need to confirm you are who you say you are and that you can afford the rental amount, along with how you have been as a tenant previously (if you have rented before).
You will be sent an application form normally online to complete. It will ask you for the following information:
Right to rent checks - your landlord or agent are legal required to carry out the right to rent checks on all applicants wishing to take a property in the UK. They will need to check one or more documents to satisfy the governments requirements. We have create a page here listing the required and acceptable documents.
Once the above has been completed and you have passed the references your landlord or letting agent will be in a position to send you a tenancy agreement. Please remember this is a legally binding document and will set out the terms and conditions of your tenancy. Please make sure that you read through this document carefully and seek legal advice if you are unsure of any of the contents.
Once you are happy to proceed, you will need to sign the tenancy agreement and pay your final monies which will be your security deposit and the remaining amount for your first months rent.
Your landlord or agent will then secure your deposit within 30 days with one of the deposit protection schemes. They will give you a set of terms of conditions for that scheme along with a prescribed information explaining where your deposit has been lodged.
Some agents may operate a deposit alternative or even a deposit free option. If this is the case, always ask for then to clearly explain how this will work for you.
So you have found the property you wish to move in to, you have completed the application process and have been accepted. The tenancy agreement has been sent for you to sign, what else do you need to consider prior to your move in day?
You will need to make sure that all parties have signed the tenancy agreement and that all monies have been paid in cleared funds before your landlord or letting agent will release the keys to you.
Once the above has been completed, you can start organising the following:
The most important thing is to try and enjoy the process of arranging your new home.
Finally the day has arrived, and the van is packed ready to go. You've collected the keys and you have arrived at your new home. Before you start unloading, we recommend you do a few things first:
Congratulations on your move. We hope that you enjoy your time in the property.
Now that you have moved in and have unpacked your belongings, except for that box in the corner, what do you need to consider? We have the below list of common things that arise during a tenancy:
- a food bin
- a recycling bin (Normally the larger one)
- a general waste bin
They are normally rotated every week, so you will need to know which bin goes out on which date. The councils will usually have a web page dedicated to this.
The time has now come for you to start anew adventure and that means that you will be vacating your current rental property. In order to do this and return the property back to your landlord in a similar condition to when you received it, there are a few things you may wish to look at. We have done our best to create a page dedicated to the check out list. This covers most of the issue we deal with when a property is returned to us, but may have missed one or two things.
Click here to few this list.